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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) – More than two years after Central Church of Christ in Tuscaloosa was destroyed by a tornado on April 27th, 2011, the church cut the ribbon on a new building Sunday.
“It’s really a sense of relief. This has been along process, it’s been very arduous, been very challenging in so many ways. And now all of a sudden today has arrived, a day we have anticipated for so long, so there’s just a lot of relief,” said Minister Lee Jamieson, Central Church of Christ.
At the former location the student building was destroyed during the tornado. Six college students actually rode out the storm in a utility closet on the main church’s campus after leaving the student building behind.
“You know I was there specifically to watch the weather. I didn’t have cable at my house, but we were there and you know the tornado hits and then you know the life- your life’s changed you know you realize how much is here for…forever you know you can, you realize everything can be torn down in just 20 seconds and so it’s a very emotional day for us today, two years later. I went to the fire college you know for the two years there and we enjoyed their facilities and very thankful for them, but man it’s good to be back,” said storm survivor Justin Miller.
“I’m very glad we were where we were especially as close a group of guys as we were,” said storm survivor Caleb Bradley.
With an eye towards the future the church is celebrating how far they’ve come and reflecting on what’s truly important.
“For those of us who were here for the tornado it’s great I mean it’s, it’s very emotional, but we’re very excited about it,” said Gillian Richard, President of Tide 4 Christ Student Ministry. “You know the Alabama Fire College has been great and they’ve been instrumental in us being able to stay together and worship together as a church, but at the same time it didn’t provide that home for you know our ministry and a place that students can reference and know that we’re here always. So it’s really important to us for that reason.”